Sam, Interrupted is the 11th episode of Season 5. It aired on January 21st, 2010.
|There was something about being there... It felt pure.|
This episode summary is an official CW press release. It may contain errors.
DO NOT CHANGE!
A former hunter named Martin (guest star Jon Gries), who is currently institutionalized, calls Sam and Dean for help investigating a case in the mental hospital. The brothers get themselves admitted as patients to check out the mysterious monster that is attacking the patients, but their incarceration pushes both to the breaking point as they unleash their inner demons against each other.
At Glenwood Springs Psychiatric Hospital, Dr. Fuller is talking with patient Susan about why she has stopped taking her medication. Susan tells him that the medication makes her sleep, and she can't sleep because "the monster" might kill her, as it did her roommate, Annie. The doctor says that it was a suicide, and that there is no monster. It's just her way of coping with the tragic loss of Annie. He blames her schizophrenia for her claims that she can hear it at night, in the walls, but Susan maintains that the monster is real. The doctor becomes frustrated with her and finally tells her, "Susan... there is no such thing as monsters." Later that night, Susan is alone in her room and watches terrified as something unseen enters. A patient across the hall from her witnesses her screaming for help and finally being pulled away from the door from behind. When he nurse finally checks on her, she is dead on the floor, both of her wrists slit.
Sam and Dean are now in Dr. Fuller's office, as Edward and Alex Van Halen. Dr. Fuller is somewhat suspicious about their reference from Dr. Babar, recalling that it's the name of the elephant from the children's books. Dean's dead-pan serious reply is that he doesn't know about the name, as he doesn't have any elephant books. The boys then truthfully describe to the doctor in detail the current state of their lives and the world, including Sam's depression about his personal culpability in starting the Apocalypse. Dean assures the doctor that Sam's not evil, though; it's just that he was addicted to demon blood and consequently was basically high at the time. As soon as the doctor fixes Sam up, Dean adds, they can get back to traveling around the country hunting monsters. The doctor tells them to hold on a moment as he calls his assistant to cancel his lunch.
The boys are admitted into the hospital and subjected to thorough examinations by Nurse Foreman. Dean attempts to lay some ground rules with her, calling her "Nurse Ratched" and warning her not to try any "soul-crushing, authoritarian crap" on him. "Okie dokie," she replies with a calm smile. Dean and Sam meet in the day room later in their patient scrubs and Dean anxiously scans the room, disbelieving that let Sam talk him into this case. Sam reminds him that Martin is a great hunter who saved their Dad's hide countless times, so the least they could do for him is answer his call for help. Dean grumbles that he was a great hunter, "until Albuquerque." Sam manages to suggest to Dean that it might be good that they are there anyway, since he's recognized Dean's usual pattern of (not) dealing with tragedy on the scale of the deaths of Ellen and Jo. This annoys Dean, and he responds that being in a psych hospital does not give Sam the right to "head-shrink" him. When told that he can't just keep that stuff inside, Dean sets his jaw and says, "Watch me."
Just then they spot Martin sitting alone and staring out a window on the other side of the room. He is very happy to see them, even though he's remembering the old days when he could have worked this case alone without a problem. He tells them that he doesn't know what has killed five people there in the past four months, but he can feel in his gut that they were not suicides as the doctors have claimed. Sam and Dean ask if he's seen the thing responsible, Martin tells them he hasn't, but that a couple of other patients have gotten glimpses. Dean asks if those witnesses are reliable, just as a woman very enthusiastically dancing a waltz solo catches his eye. Martin hasn't considered that they wouldn't be reliable, but acknowledges Dean's obvious concern by telling them he knows they think he's "a bag of loose screws," but he wouldn't have called them unless he really felt there was something sinister going on. Sam assures him that they believe him, and asks if he found any signs of attack on the victims' bodies. Martin stammers through his confession that he doesn't go around dead bodies anymore.
Dr. Fuller approaches their table and extends an invitation to join the other patients "for group." As, they rise to leave, the doctor stops Dean and says that he thinks it would be best if he and Sam attend separate group sessions because, frankly, their relationship seems dangerously codependent, and he feels a little time apart would do them some good. Dean watches Sam and Martin go away with the doctor.
In group therapy, Ted, the patient who witnessed Susan being killed, is the first to respond by quickly raising his hand when Dr. Fuller asks who wants to start the session. The doctor obviously sees him but waits for anyone else to speak up, as Ted continues to raise his hand higher. The doctor finally yields the floor to Ted, with a comment to calm down. Ted says that he would calmly like to discuss the monster hunting them. The doctor tells him that they are not going to have that discussion again because "it's not good for group," which causes a cautious exchange of looks between Sam and Martin. Ted concurs that a monster eating their faces off would not be good for group and tries to tell them that he saw it when Susan was killed. A woman in the group excitedly starts to ramble and says she saw it, too; it was an alien with lobster claws! Ted is mortified and tells the woman to shut up, and shouts over her that they are all going to die. The doctor shuts him down, insisting that there is no monster and tells him to behave or he'll call the orderlies. Ted clams up nervously as Sam and Martin share knowing looks.
While the group is in session, Dean is approached by Dr. Cartwright. Dean grins and says "Lucky me" upon learning that he has such a pretty "shrink"; she feels just as lucky that he's her "paranoid schizophrenic with narcissistic personality disorder and religious psychosis." She sits down to ask him some questions, and set up by Dean's Hannibal Lecter impersonation, they do so "quid pro quo". She starts the spar by asking how many hours he sleeps, and how many drinks he has per week. In between answering "4 or 5, every couple of nights" and "somewhere in the mid-fifties," he asks her about the recent suicides and tries to find out if she's noticed any cold spots or sulfur smells, which she hasn't. She wants to know why he asked those questions, and he seems pleased to inform her that it means demons or ghosts are about, and that he hunts them. He asks her to define "long-term" when she asks about the last time he was in such a relationship; when she specifies two months, he quickly says "Never." He asks if her patients have reported seeing anything weird. She chuckles, considering where they are. Next, she leans in and says "So... let's talk about your father."
Later, Dean is walking down the corridor looking dejected when Sam catches up with him. Sam notices something's off and asks if he's okay; he replies "I just got thraped. So, no, I am not okay." Sam tells him about Ted and they decide to meet back there later to go talk to him. Dean is anxious to wrap up the case as quickly as possible and clear out of there. Right then he is approached by an attractive young woman who lays a very invasive kiss on him, and then says 'hi' and tells him her name is Wendy. She swats him on the bottom and resumes walking down the hall as he watches, reconsidering is position about leaving so soon. Sam warns him to steer clear of Wendy.
After lights out, the boys pick the locks on their doors and set out to talk to Ted, but on the way there they hear screaming start. When they get to his door all they can see is his feet frantically kicking the window as he screams. Sam tries to pick the lock and when Dean urges him to hurry up, he barks at him to back off. By the time they get inside the room, Ted is hanging from a ceiling fixture.
The boys sneak into the morgue to examine Ted's body. Sam discovers that the hole behind his ear goes all the way through his brain. To investigate further, he has Dean keep watch outside the door while he accesses Ted's brain using a cranial saw. He finds that the brain is small and hard and appears to have been "sucked dry." When Dean hurries back in to tell him that someone's coming, he quickly replaces the brain and they compose themselves just as Nurse Forman opens the door. At a loss for an explanation of why they are in the morgue, Dean decides that dropping his pants, raising his hands in the air and yelling "Pudding!!" is the way to go. The nurse only barely reacts and then shoos them out the door.
Sam and Dean meet with Martin again to report that whatever they're dealing with "slurpees" its victims' brains and then makes their deaths look like suicides. Martin identifies the probable culprit as a wraith, a creature that cracks through skulls to feed on "brain juice". The boys' first question is of course how to kill it; Martin tells them that even a touch by silver will make a wraith's skin crackle. The bad news is it could be anyone among them because it can assume human form, and its true visage can only be seen if reflected in a mirror. They realize that a psychiatric hospital is the perfect feeding ground for it because "who's gonna believe a mental patient when they say they saw a monster?"
Dr. Cartwright finds Dean leaning against the wall beneath the corner mirror at the nurses station watching people and asks what he's up to. He tells her he's hunting a wraith, and that it could be anybody. She asks if it could be her, he double checks the mirror and deems her to be clean. She asks Dean why he has to be the one to hunt monsters and not someone else. After joking that no one else is dumb enough, he thinks for a moment answers that it's his job to "save people's asses." She wants to know how many people he has to save; he answers simply, "all of them." How he can save everyone? He hesitates to break the news to her that "a damn Biblical apocalypse" is looming and that if he doesn't stop it and save everyone, no one else will, and we'll all die.
The doctor replies "that's horrible." Dean thinks she means the Apocalypse is horrible, but she's talking about the magnitude of the responsibility he feels. She wonders how every morning he finds the strength to get up from under the crushing weight of feeling like six billion lives depend solely on him. Dean is still pondering that question when Dr. Fuller happens by and greets him. Just after he returns his greeting, he glances up and sees the doctor's decaying wraith face in the mirror as he passes. He watches him walk down the hall in stunned silence.
Later, Dean and Martin are waiting in the hallway when Sam arrives after having raided three nurses stations to find three silver-plated letter openers. Dean turns and sees Wendy approaching and starts to wave her off, but she ignores him completely and hones in on Sam. She pushes him against the wall and kisses him while stunned Dean and Martin watch. Afterward, she looks at Dean and says that she wants Sam now because "He's larger," and resumes walking down the hall. They get back to planning how they will take out Dr. Wraith, and Sam tells Martin that it will take all three of them to get it done.
Martin refuses and starts to walk away, and Sam calls out that they know about Albuquerque. Martin sighs and says that they don't know the half of it. He tells him he used to think that he was invincible, like the two of them, but now he's useless as a hunter. That's why he ended up checking himself into "Hotel California." He says he'd give anything to be able to help them now, but he's sorry that he simply can't. He hurries away. Dean and Sam determine that Dr. Fuller is still in the building and separate to find him. Sam sees the doctor coming down the hall toward him and lies in wait. He brings the weapon down when the doctor's within striking distance and slices his arm.
Dr. Fuller screams as Sam moves to strike again, but two orderlies arrive and grab him and he drops the weapon. He pummels both of them, putting one's head through a window, all while still going after the doctor. The doctor manages to get up and run, but Sam picks up the blade and tackles him. He holds him down and raises the blade to stab him, but Martin appears and grabs his arm and makes him recognize that the doctor's wound is not reacting to the silver, which means he's not a wraith. Sam is horrified that he was about to kill him. Later, Dean breaks into Sam's room, and finds that he's been heavily medicated. Sam sits Dean down and tells him slowly that the doctor wasn't a wraith. He's confused when he says he knows, and reasons that maybe Dean's seeing things because maybe he's going crazy.
Dean of course bristles at this, but Sam tells him earnestly that he's been at least half crazy for a long time, for sure since he got back from Hell and maybe even before that. Maybe, he says, he's finally cracked and is now "really, for real crazy." Dean reiterates that he's not crazy and that he will find the wraith. Sam tells him that it's OK, because he's still his brother and he loves him. He gives Dean a "boop!" on the nose and a big dazy smile. Dr. Cartwright startles Dean as he walks down the hall and mentions that he missed their session. He tells her he's been busy trying to save lives, maybe hers included. When she says that it's not her life that she's worried about, he gets irritated and yells that he's fine, loud enough to alert an orderly standing nearby. She says even he doesn't really believe that he's okay, considering all the pressure and guilt he subjects himself to trying to save everyone. Then, her expression and voice darken and she blurts, "Hell, these days, you can't save anybody, Dean," and turns to leave.
Dean is struck and asks her what she said, she replies "The truth," which is that he got Ellen and Jo killed, couldn't complete the ganking of Lucifer, couldn't keep Sam from killing Lilith and he broke the first seal. She continues to taunt him with his own words uttered while he was in the presence of only Sam and Bobby. She ends her rant by telling him the world is going to burn, and there's nothing he can do about it. During this lashing Dean has gone from confused to fearful to now very angry and loudly demands to know who she is and how she knows all of those things. The orderly interjects, telling him to settle down. Dean points to Cartwright and asks him who she is. The annoyed orderly tells him there's no one there. Dean looks back at her and she smiles at him mockingly and reveals that she's not real, only in his head, because he's going crazy. Dean is horrified and begins to stumble down the hall, seeing wraith reflections in each mirror every time he passes someone. He finally crumples against a door that he cannot get to open, whimpering.
At Sam's request, Dr. Fuller visits him in his room, accompanied by an orderly. Sam apologizes profusely for attacking him, and explains that he thought he was a monster, but realizes now that there is no such thing. The doctor accepts his apology, but says that monsters are the least of his issues; he needs deal with the anger that caused him to go after him "like a man possessed." He gives Sam a second chance, allowing him to go the day room, with supervision. However, he warns Sam that if he has another outburst, he'll arrange for him to be transferred to a facility that is equipped to handle violent patients.
Sam goes to the day room with an orderly in tow and finds Dean there sitting alone, looking distressed. He stands up and tells Sam to his face that the demon blood was never the problem, it was always him and the black spot on his soul. The crowd in the day room starts to gather around, calling him a loser, evil, and a freak; shoving him and accusing him of being the reason that everyone is going to die. Sam is completely exasperated, and when someone actually punches him, he starts swinging in all directions. Dean has actually been sitting traumatized in the corner and is watching Sam yelling and swinging at his imaginary attackers in the middle of the room. He watches as the orderlies haul Sam away, kicking and screaming. Dean just sits wide-eyed, trying to comprehend what's happening to them.
Dean sneaks into Martin's room and startles him awake, almost getting stabbed by him in the process. Dean is frantic and tells him that Sam is on lockdown because he went crazy. Dean sees this as a good thing, though, because he's going crazy, too, which means that "crazy is the clue." Martin is very confused. Dean starts to explain but stops and stares in the other direction until Martin snaps his fingers in his face to get him back. Dean refocuses and explains after all the things they've done and seen, the fact that he and Sam actually went crazy on the same day is a clue that they were infected by something that's making them crazy. Martin understands and gasps "The monster!", and Dean freaks out thinking it's in the room. He tries to calm down and work out what it could be; maybe the ghost of his dad? Martin makes him focus on the wraith, and he works out that the wraith poisoned them by venom, or saliva. He deduces it must be Wendy, who "slobbered all over" both him and Sam. He and Martin go to find her.
On the way to Wendy's room, they hear screaming. When they get there they find Nurse Forman sitting over Wendy, who's lying on the bed with her wrists slashed. They see the nurse's wraith reflection in the mirror and realize she's in the process of sucking Wendy's brains out. She attacks them and gets the best of them both, but Martin manages to slash her with the silver weapon and she runs away. As she escapes down the hall, she tells the orderlies that two patients attacked her in Wendy's room. In the room, Martin discovers that Wendy is still alive and yells at disoriented Dean to go after the wraith. The orderlies rush in and Dean finally gets up and runs as Martin holds them off.
Sam has been confined to a padded room and is bound by wrist and ankle restraints. Nurse Forman enters and he screams at her to let him go; she responds that he's way too angry to be out in the world. Sam sees her reflection and remembers their very first contact during his intake examination. She teases that considering "harmless" Martin and him and his brother coming around "talking tough about killing monsters," hunters didn't really live up to their rep. She runs her finger along his forehead and tastes it. "Crazy brains," she says—they get soaked in dopamine and adrenaline and all sorts of hormones and chemicals that make them "delicious."
She produces her spike and is preparing to stab Sam when Dean bursts in, still disoriented. She batters him for a while and gets dangerously close to skewering him, but he manages to grab her spike and break it. She recoils screaming and he grabs the letter opener and plunges it into her chest. His vision re-aligns as he focuses on her lying dead. He releases Sam's restraints as the hospital's alarm sounds.
The boys burst out the back door of the hospital running at full throttle. When they reach the Impala, Sam pauses and takes on a worrisome look. Dean asks if he's OK, and he says no, because the wraith was right about his anger. He realizes now that he's blamed Dean, their dad, Ruby, Lilith and now Lucifer, but it's really just him, angry all the time, and he doesn't know why. Dean basically tells him that taking a leave of absence is not an option, so he needs to bury that, forget about it, and move on, because that's how they keep going, and it's how they don't end up like Martin. "Come on, man... are you with me?" Dean asks. Sam finally says, "I'm with you." They get in the car and drive off into the night.
- Jon Gries as Martin Creaser
- Malcolm Stewart as Aaron Fuller
- Michelle Harrison as Erica Cartwright
- Lara Gilchrist as J. Foreman
- Gwenda Lorenzetti as Susan Fletcher
- Juan Riedinger as Ted
Featured Supernatural Beings
- Angel (Castiel, mentioned only)
- Archangel (Lucifer, mentioned only)
- Demon (Ruby, mentioned only)
- White-Eyed Demon (Lilith, mentioned only)
- Wraith (J. Forman)
- This episode seems to have taken place sometime after Abandon All Hope, being the previous episode and the last episode of 2009 before the winter hiatus.
- Referencing the 1999 movie Girl, Interrupted, which Misha Collins (Castiel) appeared in.
- When first meeting the doctor, the children's book Babar is brought up. Dean mentions not having any elephant books. This is almost word-for-word dialogue from the 1985 comedy movie Fletch starring Chevy Chase.
- Doctor: Isn't there a children's book named Babar?
Referencing the title character of a series of children's books written by Jean de Brunhoff. Babar travels out into the world, becomes educated, and returns to create a kingdom of civilized elephants.
- Doctor: Isn't there a children's book named Babar?
- Dean reveals in this episode that he has never had a romantic relationship last more than two months.
- Dr Cartwright refers to Dean as a "paranoid schizophrenic with narcissistic personality disorder and religious psychosis." It is highly unlikely that Dean was actually diagnosed with a personality disorder, as it takes more than one psychological assessment to reach such a conclusion, and it is further discouraged to diagnose such a disorder during a psychotic episode. Since Dr Cartwright was a hallucination of Dean's, it is likely Dean simply believes normal people would perceive him as a narcissist.
- Near the end of the episode after Sam and Dean have escaped the facility, Sam states, "Tom Cruise was right. Psychiatrists are crazy." This is a reference to Tom Cruise and his involvement with Scientology, an organization that strongly denounces the field of psychiatry and psychiatric medications. Tom Cruise's most notable disdain for psychiatry came during an interview on the Today show on June 25, 2005.
- Ironically, Sam and Dean got into the mental hospital by telling their actual life story, which led the staff believe they are insane.
- Dean asks Martin Creaser if his clown drawings are "original Gacy's," referencing infamous serial killer John Wayne Gacy's tendency to paint portraits of his clown alter-ego "Pogo the Clown" while in prison. Dean referenced Gacy in Season 2's Simon Said as well after first seeing Andrew Gallagher's van. In Season 14's Lebanon, Gacy would appear as a ghost.
- Dean: You're my shrink? Lucky me.
- Doctor: ...And you're my paranoid schizophrenic with narcissistic personality disorder and religious psychosis. Lucky me.
- Doctor: What are you boys doing in here?
- Dean: [Taking his pants down] PUDDIIIIIIIING!!!!
- Doctor: Alright, come on you two.
- Dean: [Whispering to Sam] Crazy works.
- Dr. Cartwright: Why you?
- Dean: Why me what?
- Dr. Cartwright:Why do you have to hunt monsters? Why not let someone else do it?
- Dean:I can't find anybody else that dumb.
- Sam:You still crazy?
- Dean: Not any more than usual.
[The doctor opens a file and it shows the names Edward Van Halen and Alex Van Halen. Dean and Sam are in front of him.]
- Doctor: You were referred to me by a Dr. Babar in Chicago.
- Dean: That's right.
- Doctor: Isn't there a children's book about an elephant named Babar?
- Dean: I don't know. I don't have any elephant books. Look, doctor, I-I think that... The doc was in over his head with this one, 'cause my brother's, uh...[Dean's whistles and makes a gesture with his hand suggesting Sam's crazy.]
- Doctor: Okay, fine. That's -- That's really not necessary. Why don't you tell me how your feeling Alex?
- Sam: I feel fine. I mean, okay, a little depressed, I guess.
- Doctor: All right. Any idea why?
- Sam: Probably because I started the Apocalypse.
- Doctor: The Apocalypse?
- Sam: Yeah. That's right.
- Doctor: And you think you started it.
- Sam: Well, yeah. I mean, I killed this demon, Lilith, and I accidentally freed Lucifer from Hell. So now he's topside and we're trying to stop him.
- Doctor: Who is?
- Sam: Me and him. And, uh this one angel.
- Doctor: Oh, you mean like a - like an angel on your shoulder?
- Sam: No, no, his name's Castiel. He wears a trenchcoat.
- Dean: See what I mean Doc, I mean the kid's been beating himself up about this for months. The Apocalypse wasn't his fault.
- Doctor: It's not?
- Dean: No. There was this other demon Ruby, she got him addicted to demon blood and near the end, he was practically chugging the stuff. My brother's not evil. He was just... High. Yeah? So can you fix him up so we can get back to traveling around the country hunting monsters?
- German: Sam, durchgeknallt (Sam, crazy)
- Hungarian: Az őrület határán (On the verge of madness)